Cannibal Corpse at Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, MI

Cannibal Corpse @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak | Photo by Jessica Trail

Cannibal Corpse, Mayhem, Gorguts, and Blood Incantation stopped at Royal Oak Music Theatre in Metro Detroit for an evening of dark metal.

American death metal icons, Cannibal Corpse, brought together American death metal, Norwegian black metal, and Canadian death metal for a night of dark music in Metro Detroit. The four-band tour stopped at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, which opened 95 years ago in 1928. The venue was originally a cinema, but after a few changes in ownership, the theater is now a multi-entertainment venue.

Up first was the American death metal band Blood Incantation, from Denver, Colorado. They opened the night with “Inner Paths (to Outer Space)” from their 2019 album, Hidden History of the Human Race. They have an eerie sound that borders on psychedelic metal mixed with traditional death metal. This made for an interesting sound that the audience quickly got into. Next, they played “Awakening From the Dream of Existence to the Multidimensional Nature of Our Reality (Mirror of the Soul)” from the same album. For their last song, they played “Obliquity of the Ecliptic” from their 2023 EP, Luminescent Bridge. This song had a much more technical death metal feel to it, which was well-received by the audience.

The second band of the night was the Canadian death metal band Gorguts, from Sherbrooke, Quebec. They came out strong with the four songs from their 1991 debut album, Considered Dead. They opened with “Rottenatomy,” a fast-paced heavy hitter that got the crowd moving as they worked into their intro riff. The next songs were “Disincarnated,” “Considered Dead,” and “Bodily Corrupted.” The following song was “Orphans of Sickness” from the 1993 album The Erosion of Sanity, followed by “Obscura” from the album of the same name from 1998.

For the third band of the night, the audience experienced the sounds of the infamous Norwegian death metal band, Mayhem. The band was formed in 1984 in Langhus, Norway. They are known for extreme music, lyrics, and actions over the last five decades. (Please note that researching the band is not for the faint of heart.) They played their set in three acts. The first song they opened with was “Worthless Abominations Destroyed” from the 2019 album Daemon. For the first act, all of the songs were from 2000 or later.

For the second act, they performed three songs from their 1994 album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, including “Freezing Moon,” “Life Eternal,” and “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.” Before the end of the second act, the crowd was getting livelier and was crowd surfing heavily. The third and final act of the show included a mix of songs from the 1987 EP Deathcrush and the 1999 EP Mediolanum Capta Est.

Then it was time for Cannibal Corpse to come out to close out the night. The history of Cannibal Corpse started 35 years ago, in 1988, in Buffalo, New York. The prolific death metal band is out on tour after releasing their 16th album, Chaos Horrific. Over the years there have been a relatively small number of changes to the lineup; two original members remain: Alex Webster on bass guitar and Paul Mazurkiewicz on drums. Their current lineup also includes George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher on vocals, Rob Barrett on rhythm guitar, and Erik Rutan on lead guitar.

To open their set, they went with “Scourge of Iron” from the 2012 album Torture. The fast-paced, heavy song got the crowd cheering and moving around almost instantly. The second song of the night was “Blood Blind” from the newest album. For the third song, they took the audience back to the 1996 album Vile with the song “Disfigured.” The next songs, “Evisceration Plague,” “Inhumane Harvest,” and “Death Walking Terror” took the fans back to albums from the 2000s. Up next was the title track for Chaos Horrific.

They then played the classic “I C** Blood” from the 1992 album Tomb of the Mutilated, followed by “Summoned for Sacrifice” for the last song of the night from the newest album. As the set was nearly the final stretch, they again took the audience back to the 1990s with “Pounded Into Dust” from Bloodthirst and “Disposal of the Body” from Gallery of Suicide. The crowd really got into “Pit of Zombies” when the super-fast guitar riffs started.

For the last two songs of the evening, they took the setlist back to the early days, playing “Stripped, Raped, and Strangled” from their fourth album, The Bleeding. Then to close out the night, they played the most popular and recognizable Cannibal Corpse song from the 1992 album Tomb of the Mutilated, “Hammer Smashed Face.”

The entire show, from beginning to end, was a night of dark and heavy metal that did not feel like a long night at all. Each band and audience member gave it their all for the whole evening. Be sure to catch this tour when it comes to a city near you for a solid evening of great metal that makes all the day’s problems and aggravations seem to fade away for the night.

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About Jessica Trail 24 Articles
Jessica is based in Hamtramck, MI. She is an engineer who is also passionate about photography and live music. When she is not researching new shows and festivals to attend she enjoys playing with her dog and rooting for her favorite sports teams.